A look at a UCO softball player’s impressive athletic career.
University of Central Oklahoma junior Morgan Heard, 4, prepares to throw the ball during a game on April 28, 2016. (Provided/ UCO Photo Services).
MIAA Player of the Year, second-team All-American, first-team All-Central, Central Region Player of the Year — these are just a few of the many accolades Morgan Heard has earned throughout her two-year career at the University of Central Oklahoma. Softball is in Heard’s blood and is a sport she has played since she was five years old.
— UCOSoftball (@UCOSoftball) February 2, 2017
“I’ve played my whole life,” Heard said. “That’s what I do every day, day in and day out.”
The junior short stop has seen success in all stages of her softball career. She was a four-year starter at Carl Albert High School, where she batted a .417 for her career and led the team to three class 5A state titles.
During her high school years Heard was also an Oklahoman Big All-City selection and an All-State pick as a senior.
Heard started her career for UCO in 2015 and upon her enrollment, was immediately put into the starting lineup and took over at shortstop.
As a freshman, Heard led the team in RBI with 54 while batting .349 along the way. Her 54 RBI placed her eighth on UCO’s single-season list.
With Heard leading the team at the plate her freshman year, she managed to show off her defensive skills too, racking up a team-high 144 assists – 50 more anyone else on the team.
Entering her sophomore season, Heard was ready to show her freshman year explosion wasn’t a fluke.
Heard followed up her freshman year with a record-breaking sophomore outing. She broke school records for hits (94) and doubles (23) while batting .463 at the plate. Heard’s .463 batting average was eleventh best in the country.
If that wasn’t enough, Heard was also ranked third in the country in runs (72), ninth nationally in doubles (23) and led the team in assists (126) and stolen bases (16).
Heard was someone her team could lean on when they needed it most. With runners in scoring position, Heard hit .547.
Her sophomore campaign earned her MIAA Player of the Year, CCA Region Player of the Year and second-team All-American honors.
While she was breaking school records and leading the Bronchos to the playoffs, Heard was also focusing on her schoolwork. “It’s really important to me because my main goal here is obviously to get an education,” Heard said.
Heard was named a 2015 MIAA Scholar-Athlete which is an award given to players who achieve a 3.5 GPA or higher.
Coming into her junior year, Heard holds UCO records for career batting average (.407) and ranks in the top eight in doubles, runs and runs batted in. Throughout all of her success on and off the field, Heard has one goal this year.
“As a team, we want to win the championship,” Heard said.
With the Bronchos currently ranked thirteenth in the country, Heard and her team hope to make that championship goal come true.